oa South African Medical Journal - Results of prefrontal leucotomy : a preliminary review of 22 cases

Volume 25, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



This report consists of a follow-up of 22 cases of psychiatric and neurologic disability requiring prefrontal leucotomy. The follow-up covered cases operated on in the years 1947 to 1950 inclusive. In all cases at least six months were allowed to elapse before an assessment was made. The criteria of the follow-up were those used by Strom-Olsen and McDonald Tow at Runwell Hospital, Essen. In our group 45.5% of cases were successfully relieved and 13.6% of cases were partially successful in terms of these criteria. The results compare favourably with the comparable Runwell group. In three cases a second leucotomy was performed after the first had previously failed, with excellent results. The operation has a definite and valuable place in the treatment of chronic psychosis with severe behaviour disorder and chronic intractable obsessional and depressive states with prolonged and total incapacity. In all cases it must be used with discretion.

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